Build an Effective Social Media Platform: The First Step May Surprise You

My Front GardenI may be the only gardener who cheers when deer sample my tomatoes. I’ve tried to reform but to no success. Now I plant extra for the graceful beauties. As a gardener, I seem to do things backwards. Long after most people have hung up their trowels for the season, I can be found in my garden. I like to get a jump on weeds while they’re dormant, and when it’s wet outside they release their hold on the ground more easily.

Weeds can also invade my writing life and stand in the way of my building a platform. As in my garden, they can hide well, appearing to be something they’re not.

  • Voices from the past tell me what I can’t do.
  • Time constraints bind me.
  • Inertia overwhelms me.
  • Confusion ties me in knots.

All of these can be weeds in my writing garden, but each of them is joined to the same root.


  • When I listen to nay-sayers, I demonstrate that I’m afraid to believe in myself.
  • There are sometimes legitimate seasons when I have to focus on other priorities, but usually when I play the busy card it’s procrastination. I procrastinate because I fear failure or success or both.
  • Giving in to the pull to do nothing as time passes can consume my life if I let it. When I allow inertia sway over me, it is always that I’m afraid to commit.
  • Confusion is often the mask I pull over my fear of trying something new.

As with gardening, if I miss the root, I may break off a weed but it will grow back. I need to use my trowel to remove it. The same trowel works for each of my weeds.


Once the weeds are cleared I can prepare the ground to build something. The first step in building an effective social media platform is believing in both the gift within you and the Giver who provided it.

Sometimes in adversity weeds come out more easily. When things go wrong, I’m fully invested in cleaning up my writing garden. But it’s really the vision for the sublime creation my hands can produce that brings forth fruit. Fortunately, that doesn’t have to happen in the rain.

This is the first post in a series on building a social media platform. You can subscribe to receive notification of my future posts next to my image in the sidebar.

Can you think of other weeds common to writers? Are some tougher to remove than others?

22 Replies to “Build an Effective Social Media Platform: The First Step May Surprise You”

  1. Janalyn,
    Excellent post! I needed to hear/read that today. I thought surely I was the only one who had these weeds, but I’m glad I’m not. Thank you for reminding me that the trowel of faith pulls the weeds out by the roots, for some reason I had forgotten.

  2. Janalyn, What a great post. I love the comparison of writing and gardening. The weeds of business can overtake my efforts. Glad that we have a Master Gardener to help us out.

  3. Fear of success – Nah! But yes, I think most of us wonder what restrictions our lives could have with this factor of possible success in our lives. Less time for friends, family, relaxing? Surely God wants us to succeed in His eyes. Good post. Thanks!

    1. You’re welcome, Kay. Thanks for commenting. We can hope that when/if restrictions come we are ready for them.

  4. Janalyn, your post confirms what I’ve been experiencing on a non-fiction project. I’d been almost paralyzed about starting. The weeds were the voice of the enemy telling me I couldn’t do this project, who did I think I was, I’m going to blow it and have to give the substantial advance back, I’ll be professionally and personally embarrassed as a failure. My trowel for pulling these weeds was time with the Lord and fervent prayer from my small critique group. Now the first two chapters are done and the rest completed way before the due date.

    Thank you for the reminder.

    1. Hi, Pat. I can always tell the fellow gardeners. 🙂 Or at least I suspect that’s true of you. We’ll get into the practical aspects of social media platform building soon, but since we’re broadening our horizons, its important to nip fear in the bud from the getgo.

  5. Janalyn, thanks for the great post. I am also a gardener but don’t have a lot of time to do so. Working full time just gets in the way of life! I would rather be writing, traveling, cooking, and gardening. My ‘weed’ is self-doubt. I sometimes feel I don’t have anything worthwhile to say and that no one really wants to hear what I have to offer. I know that is Satan at work and have to pray through it. Thanks and God bless.

    1. I hear you on needing more time for life, Carole. I go through a similar struggle with self-doubt. I also pray through. It’s hard to do at such times, but I keep my feet moving forward. I have to remind myself that my doubts have nothing to do with reality.

  6. Janalyn – suffice it to say, I needed every word you wrote in this post. I have been in such an awkward season with my writing. I feel inspired and will keep this posting handy when my garden seems overwhelming.

  7. Lovely comparison. Of course, I tend the leave the weeding until things are seriously overgrown, and I leave the writing till my mind’s overflowing. More organization with both would probably help, else I fail to start, having failed to choose where to start.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Sheila. Identifying the problem enables you to seek its solution. You might consider creating daily routines to help you more quickly deal with mundane items. The start of the year is a great time to set goals and break them into manageable chunks. It helps me to list and prioritize daily writing goals.

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